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Balancing the rising costs of public cloud

Image: Adobe Stock / Ar_TH

The spiralling cost of energy is forcing public cloud providers to raise their prices significantly. A recent report by Canalys predicted that public cloud prices will jump by around 20% in the US and more than 30% in Europe in 2023. These steep price increases will test the conventional wisdom that moving to the cloud is a cheap computing alternative.

Indeed, many organisations are already looking at their higher cloud bills and assessing whether it still makes sense to keep moving their infrastructure to the cloud. They do have alternatives. For instance, for solutions used regularly and persistently, it might make financial sense to bring those in-house rather than host them in the cloud. Owning the infrastructure and managing it yourself could be more cost-effective in the long run.

On the other hand, more complex technologies, and solutions with a high entry cost, such as artificial intelligence, remain good candidates for cloud hosting because they require so much infrastructure and personnel to run in-house. The cloud also remains an excellent option for specific services and solutions where more elasticity is required. Here, I’m thinking about technologies that need to be scaled up quickly for a defined period, such as the last few days of each month or quarter when closing the books, then scaled back down.

These are just some issues that organisations should assess when determining if they should keep their data and infrastructure in the cloud. Moving them back on-premises or transitioning to a hybrid infrastructure entails keeping some data and applications in the cloud while returning others to an on-premises infrastructure. From now on, all organisations must take a step back and assess what will work best for them to find the right balance.

The benefits of hybrid cloud

A hybrid cloud has many advantages. Organisations adopting a hybrid cloud approach can more easily control costs and manage their data wherever it resides – on-premises, in a public or private cloud. Many organisations now face a range of emerging trends and threats that impact how they run their business, and they find the flexibility of a hybrid cloud essential.

A hybrid data centre is adaptable. It’s a viable and practical system that enables companies to meet the growing threat of ransomware attacks while taking on today’s evolving business demands – all in real time. A hybrid data centre provides strong security, efficient performance, reliability, scalability, agility, and cost-efficiency.

But a hybrid data centre requires work. Implementing and operating one presents several IT-management challenges. Yes, a hybrid data centre allows a business to efficiently store and shift workloads according to need and better protect its sensitive data. But a hybrid data centre brings more complexity to managing servers, networks, storage, and software across the IT landscape.

For instance, organisations running a hybrid cloud must secure their data and applications both on-premises and in the cloud. They also must be able to recover data and applications on-premises or in the cloud, wherever the company initially hosted the data and applications. And they must handle backup and recovery across a hybrid environment. To do all this, they must have a data management and storage solution that meets the needs of a hybrid data centre.

The rise of data repatriation

As the cost of the cloud continues to balloon, many companies will take the dramatic step of ‘repatriating’ workloads to preserve precious IT budgets. Already, rising energy prices are forcing organisations to rethink their cloud strategy and start repatriating their data from the cloud to on-premises.

Indeed, research from market intelligence firm IDC shows that most organisations are now shifting workloads from the cloud back to on-premises data centres. In the IDC survey, 71% of respondents said they plan to move some or all of the workloads they’re now running in public clouds back to on-premises environments in the next two years. A mere 13% said they plan to run all their workloads in the cloud.

There are many reasons why companies are repatriating their workloads from the cloud to on-premises. These include security, performance, regulatory compliance, and a desire for better control of the IT infrastructure. Another reason is cost, which can rise quickly and unexpectedly. Workloads often start small and demand a manageable expenditure, but when workloads jump – which they frequently do – so does the spending, which a company may not have anticipated.

Data volumes in the cloud have increased to a point where they’re often not manageable. Moving some of this data back on-premises can bring benefits beyond lower costs, such as better security and enhanced performance.

But as companies move their data back on-premises, they face several challenges. They need a data storage solution that can protect their data wherever it resides – on-premises, offsite, or in the cloud. They also need a storage solution that ensures their data is available 24/7/365, even in unforeseen circumstances.

Ideally, they also need a storage solution that provides analytics that can rapidly decide what sets of data are critical to operations and what sets are not. With these analytics, organisations can efficiently determine which datasets they can place in the cloud, which can be stored locally, and which they should bring back on-premises. 

Analytics also enable companies to decide which data they must back up and what they can skip. With this, organisations can maintain an intelligent, tiered data architecture that ensures quick access to critical data and saves costs by identifying data they can store in less expensive, less readily accessible media.

Your to-do list for cloud deployment in 2023

As cloud costs rise, organisations must re-examine their data storage systems. They must implement solutions that enable them to manage their workloads cost-effectively and, at the same time, ensure that their data is always accessible and secure.

Picture of Florian Malecki
Florian Malecki
Executive Vice President of Marketing at Arcserve

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